In 1952, New Zealander Tom Neale set out to establish a solitary life for himself on a remote island in the South Pacific. In all he would spend 17 years there, building a fulfilling life fending entirely for himself. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Neale's adventures on the island and his impressions of an isolated existence.
We'll also revisit Scunthorpe and puzzle over a boat's odd behavior.
In the 1870s, new farmsteads on the American plains were beset by enormous swarms of grasshoppers sweeping eastward from the Rocky Mountains. The insects were a disaster for vulnerable farmers, attacking in enormous numbers and devouring everything before them. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll describe the grasshopper plagues and the […]
When Maria Marten disappeared from the English village of Polstead in 1827, her lover said that they had married and were living on the Isle of Wight. But Maria’s stepmother began having disturbing dreams that hinted at a much grimmer fate. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of […]
In 1896, Norwegian immigrant Helga Estby faced the foreclosure of her family’s Washington farm. To pay the debt she accepted a wager to walk across the United States within seven months. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow her daring bid to win the prize, and its surprising consequence. We’ll also […]
Website building apps are all about one thing — helping you craft a great-looking, fast-running website without having to mess with all that back-end code. However, nobody wants their site to look just like a template, so customization is all but a must. So how easy is it to make those changes and still not […]
In our modern world, our usual first approach to combating an oncoming cold is to medicate it into oblivion. Sometimes, that carpet bombing pharmaceutical attack plan can knock out the congestion and discomfort of an illness before it settles in. But there’s always something to be said for trying to put down the effects of […]
Whether you’re managing a political campaign or building a client base, there comes a time when you stop seeing people and start seeing numbers. This doesn’t happen suddenly. You shake hands, make calls, and build relationships. And then those relationships disappear into a database of donors or customers as your organization grows. People get brought […]